I used to laugh at those guys who were always moaning and groaning about their honey-do lists.

Now I are one, to be grammatically incorrect about it.

When my wife retired from teaching several years ago, I was proud for her. After 40 years of dealing with little Johnny and Precious, she’s earned her rest.

What I didn’t realize is that when she slowed down, my world was about to speed up.

With her retired, she started having some of her friends over during the summers to enjoy time out on our deck behind our house.

What that meant was I had to get the deck cleaned up and ready for them.

It was sort of like a commanding general’s inspection, back in the day in the ol’ Marine Corps.

So ol’ Jarhead here, your HOS – humble obedient servant – bought himself a pressure washer, deck cleaner, and moved all the furniture off the deck, while Sandra moved the ferns and plants.

I lit off the pressure washer, set ‘er on full rock and roll, leaned into it, and pulled the trigger.

Water flew. Dirt flew. Mud flew. Splinters of decking flew like fragmentation.

I really love power tools.

Things went so fast for the first plank or two that I thought I’d be done later that day.


I soon realized that I was just scaring the dirt, washing off a few top layers, but leaving the deep-seated grime untouched.

When I realized that, the truth sank in – this is gonna be a process.

My quick little blitzkrieg war had degenerated into a house to house fight.

I cleaned that deck plank by plank. And I cleaned off enough dirt to start my own garden. It had been a long time since I last pressure washed that deck.

I was just glad all the dirt on my clothes was mine. If I had carried off that much of someone else’s dirt, I could have been charged with felony theft of property.

After that came staining with some good water sealant.

I by Golly had that deck ready to go when Sandra’s friends started having their afternoon soirees.

And work inevitably leads to more work. With the pressure washer on the property, I’ve started dreaming up uses for it. Several more uses have come to me unbidden from my wife, bless her heart.

You know, the house does need a good outside cleaning.

And the cars haven’t been washed in a while.

And that old rocker we bought from an Amish craftsman needs to be washed and stained as well.

Sandra’s enjoying her retirement. I’m happy for her – nobody has earned it more.

As for me, I’ll be happy just to live through it.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus